Volkmar took a hit this past week when the server lost a sizeable chunk of active rank 40 players.
That’s 483 Order and Destruction players who, for one reason or another, did not increase their renown rank percentage, according to Winkl’s WAR Stats.
“You can’t lose more players than you add to have a viable game,” Winkl said in a private message interview, referencing Volkmar’s gain of 160 new rank 40 players.
And with the recent release of Aion by NCsoft, the odds aren’t looking too good for next week’s stats either.
Winkl said in his post on the forums yesterday that he expects more server mergers to be coming our way soon.
“If they merged Dark Crag, Iron Rock and Volkmar together, we’d end up with 3,135 Destruction (50%) vs. 3,014 Order (50%),” he said in the interview. “Of course, that’s assuming everyone continued to play and they actually merged the servers.”
Obviously, a major problem with merging those three servers is the people who play for both Order and Destruction. Unless Mythic comes up with a solution, they’d be forced to choose between their characters, as many did during the summer mergers.
The nitty gritty
After Mythic announced their second round of mergers, Winkl began collecting data on the game. He pulled his information from third-party sources and posted them on the forum.
On the same forums, Community Coordinator Andy Belford made a remark in response to concerns of population imbalance.
Actually, according to the actual Tier 4 and overall numbers we have, Volkmar will be pretty much 50/50 once all of the active server transfers are completed.
After being told by Belford that his information was incorrect, Winkl said he decided to get his own stats, from warhammeronline.com’s very own Realm War.
From there, he automatically issues queries to pull characters, guilds, Realm Rank activity and gear.
“For a server such as Volkmar, that results in 8,112 career queries, 2,260 guild queries and 12,835 player queries,” Winkl said. “It’s a roundabout way of gathering information, but it gets the job done.”
The data is separated into “lists of players by RR (so you know who the big-ticket players are), active/inactive counts, net gain/loss for the week, Destruction vs. Order by renown rank, Players by career, Top 25 Active Guilds and more.”
Player activity was originally determined by whoever gained at least one percent of renown in a week. He has since added activity designations based on renown gain from 10 percent to 50 percent.
What about the endless debate over who outnumbers whom?
In the interview, Winkl said the general breakdown for Dark Crag, Iron Rock and Volkmar is as follows:
Dark Crag: 1,024 Destruction (60%) vs. 677 Order (40%)
Iron Rock: 863 Destruction (53%) vs. 760 Order (47%)
Volkmar: 1,248 Destruction (44%) vs. 1,577 Order (56%)
So guess what?
According to Winkl, Belford was wrong and Volkmar “hasn’t come anywhere close to 50/50.”
When asked what steps he felt Mythic should take with Warhammer, Winkl outlined five suggestions:
WAR is supposed to be everywhere, so class/population balance should be top priority. Address these issues and folks may come back.
Listen to the player base. If we are telling you that the Absorb trinket is broken, fix it. If Bright Wizards are using a new “feature” that is game-breaking, fix it. Don’t add a new event in which the scenarios never pop or bother fixing tooltips. These are obvious issues will lead and have led to people quitting.
Make all scenarios available all the time. When the game already has a limited number of scenarios, why limit someone’s choices because ZoneX was captured. Since all we can do some nights is queue for scenarios, having 2 to choose from isn’t much incentive to login. More variety, more fun.
More patches, more frequently. Rather than saving everything up for one huge patch that will, unfortunately, seem to break more than it fixes, release smaller patches. This way it seems as if you are actually doing something to address the game. I don’t need more posts from DevX telling me about how good potions are going to be “sometime in the future”. What I want is a patch where I can test it and they act upon the feedback.
Be proactive on server merges. I think they waited far too long for the first few rounds of merges and I’d really hate for them to make the same mistake again.
Ultimately, Winkl hopes his stats can help people get an idea of the health of the servers and affect Mythic’s course of action.
“I know they’ve looked at my stats as I see in the domain logs,” he said. “They have all of this information available to them instantly. One can only hope that they learn how to use it and make better informed decisions in the future.”